Ever since the concept of Bitcoin was launched in 2009 as a solution to the global financial crisis of 2007-2008 and the complete reliance on banking authorities, the growth of digital currency has been consistent.
Today, there are thousands of cryptocurrencies in the market with various attributes, uses and specialities worth investing in. However, if you’re new to the world of cryptocurrency, the choices might overwhelm you.
Since each one of them has its own value proposition, history and advantage, which cryptocurrency is worth buying? In such an extensive market, how do you know which digital currency is at the top of the game? To get you started, here are the top cryptocurrencies worth considering this year:
Considered to be the first decentralized currency to run on blockchain technology, Bitcoin has reached a market capitalization of more than US$800 billion. It was first created by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto for a peer-to-peer payment system without involving banks.
Despite its high volatility, Bitcoin is still the most valued cryptocurrency in the market. It can be used as a form of payment for various products and services where you are not charged with tremendous fees. Transactions involving bitcoins have lower costs compared to money transfers done in banks, credit cards and other online payment systems.
What makes the value of Bitcoin sky-high is that it is inherently scarce. Meaning to say, the supply of Bitcoin is limited to 21 million only. Once every coin is mined and unlocked, the supply will be tapped out.
Moreover, Bloomberg stated that the support from Elon Musk and American investor Cathie Wood has helped Bitcoin reach its peak today. Moreover, speculations about Amazon accepting Bitcoin as a payment method caused Bitcoin’s price surge in the last few months.
Litecoin is a digital currency that was created by a former Google engineer named Charlie Lee in 2011. When it was first released to the public, it was referred to as the ‘silver to Bitcoin’s gold’. That being the case, it carries the same features and uses as Bitcoin with some additional features and development.
Litecoin was founded as a way to prioritize transaction speed, helping it earn a great reputation in the market. This means that Litecoin can process transactions in under 2.5 minutes, which is a lot faster than Bitcoin’s 10-minute processing time.
Litecoin also uses scrypt in its proof-of-work algorithm which allows users to mine using graphic processing units (GPUs) for better processing power. As of August 2021, its market capitalization has reached more than US$11 billion, establishing it as the sixteenth-largest crypto in the world.
Founded in 2015 by a co-founder of Ethereum Charles Hoskinson, Cardano is an ‘Ourobos proof-of-stake’ cryptocurrency. This cryptocurrency has a research-based approach led by cryptography experts, engineers and mathematicians. This, in turn, has given Cardano a competitive edge in security, safety and sustainability.
The Cardano researchers have written about 90 peer-reviewed research papers on blockchain technology, which now serve as the cornerstone of this cryptocurrency. Because of this, Cardano is considered superior compared to other well-known digital currencies.
Moreover, since Cardano uses a proof-of-stake protocol, it is more energy-efficient so it doesn’t require high-powered computers when mining. Its structure also prevents cybercriminals from attacking the network, making it one of the safest options in the world of cryptocurrency.
Cardano aims to provide solutions for voter fraud and legal contract tracing as well. Today, it is ranked 3rd with a market cap of more than US$80 billion.
Ethereum is a decentralized, blockchain-based platform that utilizes smart contract functionality. At the moment, it is the second-largest cryptocurrency in market value that uses its own programming language called Solidity.
When Ethereum was founded in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, its main goal was to allow developers to facilitate smart contracts and applications without the risk of fraud and intermediaries.
Ethereum is mainly powered by its cryptographic token called Ether to run applications on its network. It can also be traded in crypto exchange sites and used to buy goods and services. In fact, online merchants like CheapAir, Shopify, Gipsybee, and Overstock are accepting Ether as a payment method.
Tether, commonly referred to as USDT, is known to be the first regulated stablecoin that was launched in 2014 under the name Realcoin. When it was founded by Brock Pierce, Craig Stellars and Reeve Collins, Tether was an attempt to solve the issue of high volatility that cryptocurrencies face. As a result, it became a blockchain-based digital currency designed to trade at exactly US$1.
Since Tether is a stablecoin, its value is linked to assets like gold or the US dollar. This means that its price doesn’t fluctuate as much as Bitcoin or Ethereum, making it an ideal assurance against volatility for crypto investors.
In addition, Tether was designed to bridge the gap between fiat currency and digital assets for transparency, stability and lower transaction costs. It can be considered a good option for payments since the value of what you sent to another user won’t change, unlike other cryptocurrencies. If you’re also interested in getting high-interest rates in lending, Tether is the best choice.
Stellar is a decentralized, open-source blockchain that uses its native token called Lumen. Its main goal is to provide cheap transactions to its users by connecting financial institutions via blockchain technology. Consequently, complex transactions between banks and firms can now be instantly processed with minimal fees and no intermediaries.
The cryptocurrency was founded by Jed McCaleb in July 2014 which uses a federated byzantine agreement (FBA) algorithm to process the network’s transactions. Stellar is now ranked 20th among other cryptocurrencies, reaching a market cap of almost US$9 billion.